‘Ganesh Utsav’ at Hubbali’s Idgah Maidan, Security Beefed Up Amid Celebrations
Security has been beefed up in Hubballi and Dharwad amid Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in Idgah Maidan.
The Quint DAILY
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The idol of Lord Ganesh was placed at the Idgah Maidan in Hubbali this morning to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi for the next three days, a day after the Karnataka High Court allowed the celebrations to proceed.
In a late night hearing, the high court dismissed the petition filed by Anjuman-e-Islam opposing the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation's decision, and also said that the celebrations can be held at the venue.
'Ganpati Bappa' Celebrations in Hubballi
A day after a high court bench led by Justice Ashok S Kinagi ruled that Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations can go ahead as planned in Hubballi, devotees and the Hindutva organisations celebrated by distributing confections and desserts.
A four-feet idol of Ganesh was also brought to the Idgah Maidan amid the chants of "Jai Ganapati Bappa." Amid tight security, the idol was placed inside a pandal for conducting ceremonies and offering prayers.
Out of the six organisations that have applied for permission to install Ganesha, only one organisation has been allowed to install the idol and carry out the rituals.
Speaking to reporters in Hubbali, K Govardhan Rao, Convener of Rani Chennamma Maidan Gajanan Utsav Mahamandal, said, "Rani Chennamma Maidan (Idgah Maidan) belongs to the Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation. On behalf of the Samiti Mahamandal, we requested the authorities to hold Ganesh Ustav here. Now that the court and the authorities have given us a green signal, we will go ahead with the rituals."
According to the Rani Chennamma Maidan Gajanan Utsav Mahamandal, traditional pooja (ceremony) will be conducted for a period of three days and that pandal will be open to public for darshan and offering prayers.
"We are going to follow all instructions that have been given to us to by the municipal and police authorities and Ganesh will be immersed in a lake after three days of celebrations," added K Govardhan Rao.
Security Beefed Up in Hubbali Amid Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations
Devotees poured in to offer prayers in Idgah Maidan, with right-wing Hindutva activists from Sri Rama Sene led by Pramod Muthalik also visiting the pandal holding a placard of VD Savarakar.
The group raised religious and nationalist slogans, claiming that Savarkar was the one who got India freedom.
Meanwhile, the Christian community led by United Dharwad District Christian Pastors and Leaders Alliance submitted a memorandum to the HDMC demanding that the Idgah Maidan grounds should also be given to them to celebrate the Christian annual festivities.
In the wake of Hindutva organisations insisting on displaying Savarkar's photograph at Ganesh pandals and the opposition Congress rejecting it, police have deployed extra forces to ensure peace and security.
With the Christian community also jumping in, the police told reporters in Hubballi that it does not wish to take any chances.
Two Karnataka State Reserve Police platoons, five Rapid Action Force companies, 150 homeguards, 13 inspectors, 15 sub-inspectors, 305 ASIs and all deputy SPs have been deployed in the city to ensure peace.
The city police also held a route march and installed CCTV cameras at vantage points to monitor the situation.
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